Digital Manufacturing of Irises and Eyes

Digital Irises are the Future of Ocularistry

Digital technology may seem like it’s already part of the mainstream. Digital photos, for example, replaced film long ago and the efficiency of a photocopy replaced copying by hand ages ago. But in the ocularist field, the digital revolution is only just beginning. We believe digital manufacturing is the future of prosthetics. Whether they be eyes, legs, arms or ears, modern technology offers us tremendous advancements in quality and efficiency.

Digital Irises

John Stolpe Digital Irises

Why is digital taking longer to enter the ocularist field? Fitting an eye is a complex matter. A 3D printer may be able to create 2 identical artificial limbs. But getting eye color right, as well as shape, is more complex because color is infinite and structure is infinite. The integration of new technologies is never easy, which is why it is not common. In fact, digital technology is found in relatively few ocularist offices at this point in time, with most ocularists still painting their pieces by hand. Still, digital is the future.

The office of John Stolpe expended a tremendous amount of energy and engineering know-how to take the infinite colors of the eye, and turn them into a reproducible system that is consistent and efficient time after time, over the 10 years we have been testing our techniques.

Digital Irises for Ocularists

Now, we are pushing this technology forward dramatically by reaching out to other ocularists and offering the fruits of our digital technology to them. We have introduced a starter kit of 84 digital irises that we believe covers the largest possible range of the population. We also offer ocularists a selection of irses from among the thousands in the library we have created over the years. In the near future, we plan to offer the ability to order eyes remotely and create custom composite eyes over the Internet.

By sharing this technology, the digital revolution in ocularistry is just beginning to take place. In the future, the art of ocularistry will become more about shaping than color, which may also be assisted by digital technologies.

Having mastered digital coloration, which was said to be impossible, our next step is pushing research in CAD-CAM manufacturing of artificial eyes. Furthermore, we hope that with CAD-CAM manufacturing, the integration of electronics into ocular prosthetics will change the field even more dramatically. We look forward to continuing our legacy of innovation by pushing forward these emerging fields and technologies and eagerly anticipate the developments that come along from our technologies being implemented worldwide.

Beyond the sheer excitement of pushing forward our field, we are excited about the future because of what it means for our patients. All of these innovations, starting with our digital irises, will greatly increase the number of artificial eye patients who can walk out of their ocularist’s office unnoticed by society.

 

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